Breathing life into communities with essential water services: Interflow and WaterAid unite
Access to clean water, adequate toilets and good hygiene should be fundamental human rights. Sadly, millions of people around the world are not afforded these basic necessities. For those living in disadvantaged communities in developing countries, the COVID-19 crisis poses additional threats associated with poor hygiene and sanitation. Australia’s Water Industry has united to improve conditions for such communities by providing financial support to WaterAid, a not-for-profit organisation which already has local presence in affected areas.
Extending a helping hand
COVID-19 has underlined the importance of hygiene and sanitation on a global scale and WaterAid‘s work through these difficult times has played an enormous role in preserving the health of vulnerable communities.
The pandemic has highlighted the inequity of access to healthcare and sanitation services for many developing countries around the world. As a strong supporter of WaterAid’s work for over 15 years, specialist in water infrastructure, Interflow, recognises that helping these less fortunate communities is now more important than ever.
Having witnessed the difference that easy access to clean water and sanitation can make first-hand, Interflow’s Managing Director, Geoff Weaver, reflects on why the organisation’s mission means so much to him.
“Supporting our customers’ local communities through the provision of safe drinking water and sanitation is a big part of what we do every day across Australia and New Zealand, but a lot of our neighbours throughout the Asia-Pacific region aren’t as fortunate,” he stated.
“Access to these services is vital to enhancing the general prosperity and quality of life of communities and can even impact a child’s access to healthcare and education. We want to do our part to ensure that all families, businesses and communities gain access to such utilities, regardless of the circumstances they were born into.”
By making these services easily accessible, WaterAid and its partners are giving local leaders and townships the tools they need to support the growth of healthy communities for generations to come.
Delivering tailored support
By providing national communications, information, materials and training on water, sanitation and hygiene, WaterAid’s volunteers are not only protecting rural communities from mass infection but improving the health of future generations.
Geoff explains how uniting behind this cause has enabled members of the Australian Water Industry to amplify their positive impact.
“Without an intimate knowledge of the social or political systems in these regions, or what the needs of various local communities are, the impact of an organisation looking to make a difference on its own would be limited.”
“The people at WaterAid have the specialist knowledge and local resources to be able to put our money where it’s needed. They’re channeling the collective power of the Australian Water Industry and helping us all to achieve a greater good on a much larger scale.”
The combined approach of water authorities, government bodies and essential service providers such as Interflow, has enabled WaterAid Australia to leave a lasting impact in hundreds of communities throughout the Asia-Pacific.
Like Interflow, WaterAid’s sponsors have supported the organisation’s work in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste with an increased focus on hygiene education and promotion, which is vital to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With a vision of supporting more community-based initiatives to further elevate the health of those in need, both during and after COVID-19, WaterAid’s work is a potent reminder of how by banding together, we can truly change lives for communities around the world.